“I’ve been having more difficulty than normal sleeping since Sandy came to town. My sincere hope is that even if you cannot read this, you are all in a warm, safe place with all of your loved ones and that you have not lost hope. Hopefully, very soon, power will be restored to those still waiting, and along with it heat. It will be years before we recover from this…to whatever extent we do recover from this. Be safe, be strong.”
I lived in New Jersey for 35 years up until this year. New Jersey will always be home to me.
When I read the above quote on Facebook on November 5th from a man that I went to high school with, I started to cry. As I write this post about 32,000 customers in New York and New Jersey remain without power. Although only one of my family and friends that I know of had their home destroyed, I realized what the effect of going without power for even a few days had done to the people affected by Hurricane Sandy, especially during the cold months. I read the Facebook posts of my friends and those on the organizations that have sprung up for Hurricane Sandy, “Our throats hurt from breathing in the cold air when we sleep”, “What will happen to all of the senior citizens at Covered Bridge?”
I realized I wanted, needed to help and decided to donate my blog space, to ask my readers to give whatever they can to help, if they have not already.
I have chosen two organizations and one personal appeal to spotlight. Personally, I like donating to a specific, small organization, or specific people so that I know exactly where and to whom my money is going. It seems to give me an even greater feeling that I am doing something good, you know what I mean?
Highlands, New Jersey, The Highlands Elementary School
Photo courtesy of Slate Magazine
The principal of this school, William Ciullo, taught at my high school while I was there.
“…Our town was devastated by the hurricane, and we have, literally, hundreds of displaced families. Many of my students are homeless. However, a walk downtown will show you the indomitable spirit of a community that is finding strength in the love of one another as they work to re-build.
… I …am asking that you find the time and a charitable heart to send a donation to me to support my students and their families. Please donate what you can and make checks payable to: HIGHLANDS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 360 NAVESINK AVENUE, HIGHLANDS, NEW JERSEY, 07732. Please direct it to my attention.”
The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties
The holiday season is always a busy time of the year for food banks across the nation and now it comes on top of Hurricane Sandy. The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties normally serves 260 meal programs, mostly church pantries, providing more than seven million pounds of food to people in need each year. “Now in addition to that, we have this huge need from people who have never had to stand in a line for food before”, said Marion Lynch, the Food Bank’s Media Coordinator. Since the storm, the Food Bank has delivered food for more than 450,000 meals to food pantries, shelters, relief agencies and other emergency feeding programs.
The Food Bank is in need of monetary donations. Food Banks use money to take advantage of bulk foods and other deals the general public does not have access to. Monetary donations also help fund fueling it’s trucks, purchasing supplies and paying for necessary equipment such as generators.
Information on how you can help can be found here.
Help Us Rebuild Aunt Dee’s Life!
A Gerritsen Beach home courtesy brooklynnews.com
When Christine Miserandino, the Spoon Lady put out a call for action on her Facebook page to help her long-time family friend, “Aunt Dee” start over again, I had to act.
Aunt Dee lives in a section of Brooklyn designated a Zone B area, where the storm surge flooded and destroyed most homes. “When the hurricane hit, my family was only able to save her wheelchair, her medicine and her cat, Mickey”, said her niece, Kaitlyn Hanley. Other than that, Aunt Dee has lost her home and nearly everything else.
“Every penny will get us closer to getting Aunt Dee back on her feet again.”
To donate click here.
I think Kaitlyn said it best: every penny helps. I realize many of my readers are low-income due to being chronically ill, as am I. I know it might be even harder around the holidays to find funds to donate. But even if you give five dollars or even a dollar, it is one more dollar that they will have because of you.
I know that a lot of people will want to donate to The Spoon Lady’s family friend, but the other organizations need help just as much. Perhaps if you are thinking of donating ten dollars, you many consider splitting up your donation to support two causes.
If you truly feel you cannot donate, then please do not feel badly about it. You can still help by sharing my blog on your Facebook or Google+ pages or on Twitter. You can use the Facebook and Twitter buttons at the bottom of this post if you like.
If you donate, please comment here and let me know. Also, if you are able to, please tell these causes that Mama Sick sent you! And please share this post with everyone you know. I am not expecting thousands of dollars in donations from this blog post, but by working together, let’s see what we can do!
Thank you and be well!